Catching Up With Mass. Maritime Academy’s Kyle Johnston

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Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior Kyle Johnston was recently named the MASCAC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mass. Maritime Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Last week, Kyle Johnston received some exciting news.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy senior, who has been spotted on the gridiron for the past four years, was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Scholar-Athlete of the YearFramingham State University senior Mary Kate O’Day was also honored by the conference, being named the female scholar-athlete of the year.

“I feel grateful to be honored,” said Johnston, who was nominated for the award by Mike Kelley, who is the director of athletics at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

“It is a great honor and I am grateful for it. And I am glad I can represent Massachusetts Maritime Academy.”

Johnston became the first Buccaneer to receive this award since Jonathan White, who played soccer at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in 2011.

For student-athletes to receive this honor, they must be nominated by their school’s director of athletics, be a senior, and achieve at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average. Recipients are selected by the MASCAC Athletic Directors.

Johnston enjoyed a successful senior season with the Buccaneers, registering career-bests in total tackles (57.0), solo stops (37), sacks (12.5), and tackles for a loss (19.5). Additionally, he recorded a career-high three forced fumbles along with two break-ups. The 12.5 sacks were the most recorded by a defender in the conference – it was also the fifth-highest total in Division III.

Noontime Sports recently spoke with Johnston about his career with the Buccaneers, as well as where he is headed after graduation next month.


When you look back to your playing days with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program, what will you remember most? 

The guys. I made some of my best friends through this program.

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy football program consists of some great all-around guys and they deserve to get awards like this too because they are just as competitive and just as good as I am to receive this (type) of honor, if not, better.

My position coach for my first three seasons with the Buccaneers – Odell Jones, who currently oversees the defensive line at Assumption College – was probably one of the best coaches I ever had in my career. He pushed me to my limits and I give him full credit with how successful I am in football today. But I will definitely remember the people the most (because) those are the memories that will last the most for me.

You and your teammates enjoyed a successful 2019 campaign. Do you feel the team (and program) took a step forward this past season?  

Yeah, absolutely. I think it was a total success. My graduating class may have featured the most seniors this program has had in a while, but we stuck together through the ups and downs, and I give all credit to the players, including the grades below us.

I am hopeful the team can continue to build on what they did last year and continue to get better.

Your team competes in a few rivalry games each season. Which one is your favorite and why? 

The (rivalry) we have with both Maine Maritime Academy and Maritime (N.Y.) are important to us and they go through the same stuff we go through (during game weeks). But our rivalry with Framingham State is important – it is always a big game and so is Bridgewater State. Unfortunately, we did not beat Bridgewater State this past year, but I always feel we put forth a good effort against them, as well as Framingham State.

Where will you be headed after graduation next month? 

I just accepted a full-time position earlier this month with Travelers in Braintree, Massachusetts. I will be working in the ocean marine underwriters department.

Finally, do you plan to return to campus hopefully later this year or in the future to cheer on the Buccaneers? 

Absolutely. I would love to come back and cheer on my teammates.

Noontime’s Senior Salute: Mary Kate O’Day (Framingham State)

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Mary Kate O’Day and the Framingham State women’s basketball team competed in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game last month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin/Framingham State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For Mary Kate O’Day, her senior season with the Framingham State University women’s basketball team was one both she and fans will certainly remember for quite some time.

The Berlin, Massachusetts native averaged a career-bests in points per game (17.9), rebounds (8.5), and assists (3.1) while leading the Rams to their first-ever Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament Championship with a 66-51 win over Worcester State.

Framingham State would make its initial appearance in the NCAA D-III Tournament days later and conclude its 2019-20 campaign with a school-record 22 wins in a single-season.

Named the MASCAC Player of the Year for the second time in her career, O’Day netted 20 points or more in 12 contests this past season while scoring a season-high 31 points in her team’s 101-91 victory over Westfield State in January. O’Day was honored by both the New England Women’s Basketball Association (NEWBA) and D3Hoops.com (All-Northeast Region) last month, securing spots on the first and second teams, respectively.

O’Day scored 1,557 points in 102 games with the Rams to go with 621 rebounds, 234 assists, and 127 steals. She also recorded 38 blocks, including a career-best 16 this past winter.

We recently caught up with Mary Kate O’Day to discuss her final season with the Rams, as well as her future plans beyond graduation later this spring.


What will you remember most about your final season with the Rams? 

I will remember winning the MASCAC championship. We came up short twice in the past, so to finally win it my senior year was something special.

Was there a game (or two) that you will remember most from either your senior season or the past three years? If so, which game(s) are they?

I think the game that I will remember most (from this past year) was when we beat Westfield State on the road. We had only beaten them once in my four years with the Framingham State women’s basketball program, so earning a win against the Owls was (an important step toward eventually winning our conference tournament title on the final day of February).

In addition to our win over the Owls, it has been great seeing both former and current teammates reach certain milestones. I have vivid memories of watching Alycia Rackliffe, Raegan Mulherin, and Emily Velozo score their 1,000th point, respectively, to Lauren Donahue becoming the program’s all-time assists leader. Those are games (and memories) I will never forget. 

What have you enjoyed most about competing for your team (and program) these past four years? What will you miss most after graduation? 

Meeting so many amazing people. I have become so close with my teammates over the past four years. We have shared some amazing memories together, including two trips to Florida and celebrating New Years’ at Universal Studios. Those were some of my favorite memories with my teammates (and friends).

I will miss most hanging out with my teammates and being apart of a team. Whether we were hanging out in someone’s dorm room, grabbing food off-campus to shooting around before practices, the times we spent together, both on and off the court is something I will miss.

Tell me about your major. How did you choose it and what do you hope to do beyond graduation? 

I am a sociology major. I went into college undeclared but during my sophomore year, I took a sociology class and really enjoyed it. My goal is to get a job with the Special Olympics.

D3 Basketball: All-Noontime Women’s Basketball Team

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

With another New England D-III college basketball season in the books, it is time to unveil our end of season All-Noontime Women’s Team for the 2019-20 season.


All-Noontime Women’s Basketball First Team

Erica DeCandido Tufts University North Wales, Pa. 
Madeline Eck Amherst College Rye, N.Y.
Hannah Fox Amherst College Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Maddie Hasson Bowdoin College South Portland, Maine 
Samantha Roy Bowdoin College Stafford Springs, Conn. 

All-Noontime Women’s Basketball Second Team

Christina Antonakakis MIT Holmdel, N.J. 
Anna Barry Eastern Connecticut Andover, Conn. 
Meghan Foley Gordon College Malden, Mass. 
Katelyn Pickunka Smith College Westhampton, Mass. 
Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda  Emmanuel College Cambridge, Mass. 

All-Noontime Women’s Basketball Third Team

Emily Bonifacic  Babson College Allendale, N.J. 
Alex Goslin Springfield College South Windsor, Conn.
Meghan Graff  Bates College South Portland, Maine
Mary Kate O’Day  Framingham State Berlin, Mass. 
Kaleigh Putnam Endicott College Wallingford, Conn. 

 

Framingham State Wins First MASCAC Women’s Basketball Conference Crown

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The Framingham State women’s basketball team won its first MASCAC Tournament championship on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: MASCAC)

By Matt Noonan 

The Framingham State women’s basketball team is headed to the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament, thanks to a thrilling 66-51 win this afternoon against Worcester State in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament championship.

Framingham State, which won the conference outright for the first time since sharing the regular-season title with Bridgewater State and Westfield State during the 2013-14 season, registered its third win over the Lancers this season, including its second this month.

Mary Kate O’Day guided the Rams to victory by netting a game-high 27 points on 8 of 16 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, two assists, and one block. Flannery O’Connor finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds while Krysta Padellaro chipped in seven points, six rebounds, and two assists.

Framingham State led 27-24 at the break before pushing ahead for good in the third by outscoring the visitors, 23-10. Worcester State did reduce the deficit in the fourth quarter – they outscored the Rams, 17-16.

Mya Mosley led the Lancers with 22 points on 8 of 24 shooting, including 5 of 12 from beyond the arc. Gigi LeMay finished with nine points off the bench.

Framingham State has appeared previously in the MASCAC championship but lost both times to Westfield State.

With the win, the Rams will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament next week – they will learn their first-round opponent on Monday, March 2nd.